Many of the organisations our consultants work with are undergoing some element of change. One of the benefits of recruiting an interim to your team is that they are used to a fast pace of change and have managed change in a number of different organisations.

What is it that makes for an effective change programme?

1. People:

Change is all about people. If you have a high proportion of innovators and early adopters, a change programme will go well. If you have a higher than normal proportion of laggards in your organisation, change must happen slowly. The graph below shows the ‘normal’ curve of types of adopters in an organisation.

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2. Vision:

We must have a clear vision that everyone buys into. Work with internal leaders to set this vision. These leaders don’t necessarily need to be management or in charge. They need to be visionary and have a followership. They will be present at every level of the organisation. Every social structure, with or without hierarchy, has leaders within each pack.

3. Communication:

Very few people like change. They like it even less when it is seen as ‘change for changes sake’. It unnerves and worries people. During any transformation, communication is key. It’s all well and good having a vision, but people must know what that vision is. At every level of the organisation. We must make staff feel involved and part of the vision and decision-making.

4. Understanding:

It is key to identify all stakeholders and work out what is important to them. Concerns will range from ‘losing my job’ to ‘keeping the service to a good standard’ to ‘not wanting to work harder’ to ‘do I have to move desks?’ Understanding people’s concerns will help you communicate with and reassure staff. It’s also vital horizon scanning for staff issues that will come up as the project/programme progresses. Business change happens most effectively with a leadership style that is open and encourages the flow of information. This allows free debate and evaluation of risks which should be welcomed and converted into a constructive progress.

5. Know your trouble makers: 

Identify people who will be trouble! Not all pack leaders will be helpful. You’ll need to find these people and keep them close to the action. They’ll be tough to manage but better to keep them ‘in’ than ‘out’ where they will lead the rebellion. Once converted these people can be your biggest assets. They’re not afraid to speak their line and are not known for towing the party line. So if you get them to show agreement with the change it will grab attention and those last reluctant people will follow.

4. Quick Wins:

Identify your quick wins and make the changes needed to show movement in a positive direction fast. Then tell everyone about these wins! Celebrate the people involved and show how beneficial the win has been.

I will say this again – Change is all about the people. Cultural change in particular can be a very slow process. It is all dependant on the type of people working within the organisation, how deeply ingrained the current culture is and how forward thinking the current staff are.

GK Recruit work with a range of established and accomplished changed managers. Take a look at some of their CVs by clicking the links below:

Facilities Management – With over 20 years experience, a BEng graduate with strong analytical, communication and people skills, with a practical and systematic approach to work.

Procurement  – An experienced chartered professional who specialises in strategic procurement, supply-chain and commercial management solutions for public and private sector clients associated with construction and infrastructure.

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